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Racheli offers its foreign clients full services relating to searching, filing and prosecuting Italian and Community design applications, as well as filing and cancellation proceedings against registered Community designs and defending against proceedings filed by third party.

Community Designs

Introduced in 2001, the European Community design (usually referred to as the "Community design") is a single design right which is valid in the entire territory of the European Union (28 Member States up to 2013):

 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

The Community design may consist of a design registration (RCD) valid for up to 25 years from its filing date or of an unregistered design right whose protection is limited to 3 years commencing on the date at which the design was first made available to the public.

 

Community Designs – Absolute Requirements

A Community design right may only exist for an industrial or hand-crafted article, including visible spare parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, while excluding computer programs.

 

The design of the product or of a part of the product may consist of its shape or other aesthetic features composed of lines, colours, surface structure, materials and/or other ornament.   Parts of a complex product can be protected as long as they are visible during the normal use of the complex good by the end user.

 

Community Designs – Relative Requirements

 

 

The design must be new and have an individual character, and cannot be dictated solely by the article’s technical function.

 

Novelty

 

Novelty should be assessed with respect to the absence of any identical prior designs, i.e. if their features differ only in immaterial details, made available  to the public:

 

(a) in the case of an unregistered Community design, before the date on which the design for

which protection is claimed has first been made available to the public;

 

(b) in the case of a registered Community design, before the date of filing of the application for

registration of the design for which protection is claimed, or, if priority is claimed, the date of

priority.

 

Individual Character

 

As regards the substantive requirement of individual character of the design, it shall be deemed if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public:

 

(a) in the case of an unregistered Community design, before the date on which the design for

which protection is claimed has first been made available to the public;

 

(b) in the case of a registered Community design, before the date of filing the application for registration or, if a priority is claimed, the date of priority.

 

In assessing individual character, the degree of freedom of the designer in developing the design shall be taken into consideration.

Disclosure

 

Designs which have been made available to the public by the designer / successor in title, in the year preceding the date of application, or preceding the priority date (if applicable), are not considered acts of disclosure relevant for the purpose of assessing the novelty and individual character of the design.

 

The date of any prior disclosure (“made available to the public”) is deemed to be when such could reasonably have become known in the normal course of business to the specialised circles operating within the Community.

 

Disclosure is not deemed to have occurred where the design has been made known to another person solely under conditions of confidentiality.

 

Also, designs which have been made available to the public by the designer / successor in title, or by any third party in abuse of the designer’s or his successor’s in title rights, in the 12 months preceding the date of application, or preceding the priority date (if applicable), are not considered acts of disclosure relevant for the purpose of assessing the novelty and individual character of the design.

 

Registered Community Designs

An RCD can be obtained by means of:

• a single application before the Office for the Harmonisation in the Internal Market (the "OHIM"), in Alicante, Spain; or

• designating the Community design (EM) for protection with an International Design filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland, through the applicant’s national office in the country of origin.

 

An unlimited number of articles in a same Locarno class of the International Classification of Designs, can be protected with a single application.

Applications can be made to the Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) through a (European) Community designs attorney; applications must be made in writing and must include the following particulars:

 

• number of designs, title, Locarno Class and representation of each design (up to 7 views are allowed) and/or specimen for two-dimensional designs, e.g. fabrics; no verbal description of the designs is allowed;

name and address of designer/s (not compulsory) ;

• name and address of applicant/s;

• Convention priority application, including a copy of the priority document and translation in English thereof (if applicable);

• exhibition priority (date of first disclosure - if applicable);

• request of deferment of publication (if applicable);

• signed Power of Attorney (no legalization required).

 

We also refer you to the Explanatory Notes on the RCD Application form, published by the OHIM on its website.

Applications are not subject to, in particular, any examination as to novelty or individual character, but may be challenged by way of an invalidity action before the OHIM or counterclaim before a Community Designs Court.

 

For this reason, it is always advisable to conduct prior art searches before filing an RCD application.

 

The OHIM usually grants the RCD’s within 3-4 months from the filing date.

The duration of protection conferred by a design registration is for a period of 5 years, renewable up to a maximum of 25 years.

 

The scope of the protection conferred by a registered design includes any successive design which does not produce on the informed user a different overall impression.

 

Unregistered Community Designs

Same formal and substantive definition as with registered designs.

 

The term of protection of the unregistered rights is limited to 3 years which commences on the date the design has first been made available to the public (i.e. published, exhibited, used in trade or otherwise disclosed, where these events could reasonably have become known in the normal course of business to the specialised circles operating within the Community).

 

Disclosure is not deemed where the design has been made known to another person solely under conditions of confidentiality.

 

The scope of protection is narrower than that afforded to registered designs: it is limited to goods put on the market which constitute acts of copying of the design.

The alleged infringer may oppose as a defence that the contested good results from an independent creation of a designer who may reasonably be thought not to be familiar with the design made available to the public by its owner.

 

According to a recent interpretation by Italian Courts, the unregistered design rights cannot be cumulated with registered design rights in an infringement claim.

Italian Designs

The Italian Industrial Property Code affords industrial design protection in accordance with the European Directive No. 98/71/EC, which has harmonized the national designs laws of EU Member States.

 

Under Italian law a copyright may also vest in works of designs that, in addition to being original, must also have artistic value, which therefore sets the threshold of protection to works only of the highest level of creativity.

 

International Designs

The protection for a design can also be obtained for Italy and some other countries by filing a single application called “International Deposit for Industrial Design” with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

There are currently 58 Contracting Parties that are signatories of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, including the European Union (EM).

For more information on International Design registrations, we invite you to consult the following web address:

 

http://www.wipo.int/hague/en/

 

 

RACHELI S.r.l. CONSULENTI IN PROPRIETA' INTELLETTUALE - CONSULTANTS IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - Tel. +39.02.480681 - Fax. +39.02.48008343 +39.02.48002648 - E-mail: racheli@racheli.it - Cod. Fisc. P.IVA - VAT REG. N. 09899330154

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A. COPYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER
This web site is presented by firm Racheli S.r.l., Consultants in Intellectual Property (hereinafter also referred to as “Racheli”). The contents thereof, in whole and in part, are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. Partial reproductions of site contents are permitted on condition that the source is identified and the reproduction is not of a commercial nature.
They are strictly informative, do not claim completeness and do not constitute legal or professional advice. No action with respect to any information contained on this website should be taken without consultation with a professional appropriate to the individual case. Any liability in connection with this website and the information provided therein, including the content of possible links, is therefore excluded to the extent permitted by law.
Racheli is an Italian company, duly registered with the Milan Business Registry under no. 300489 /1996 and having the V.A.T.  number IT 09899330154.
To the extent permitted by law, Italian law is applicable for all matters concerning this website or services rendered by Racheli or its attorneys who handle(s) the individual case.
The European Patent Attorneys of Racheli are registered with the European Patent Office and are members of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the EPO (EPI).
The Italian Patent, Design and Trademark Attorneys are registered with the Italian Patent and Trademark Office and are members of the Ordine dei Consulenti in Proprietà Industriale, the Italian Patent, Designs and Trademark Attorneys' association.
The European Trademark and Design Attorneys are registered at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. They are subject to the rules of the Council Regulation on the Community Trade Mark and of the Council Regulation on the Community Design. 
The Attorneys at Law acting on behalf of Racheli as consultants are Italian and Canadian lawyers and are members of their respective bar associations.

The following professional codes of conduct apply to:
the European Patent Attorneys:
- Guidelines for practising the profession, issued by the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (EPI)
- Guidelines concerning disciplinary matters, issued by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Office

the Italian Patent, Design and Trademark Attorneys:
- Code of Professional Conduct of the Ordine dei Consulenti in Proprietà Industriale


the Attorneys at Law:
- Codes of Professional Conduct of the Milan and Spanish Bar Associations
- Code of Professional Conduct of the Law Society of Upper Canada
- The Code of Conduct for Lawyers in the European Community issued by the CCBE (Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Community) is applicable to all lawyers acting in the EU http://www.cobe.org/UK/publications.htm.


B. TRADEMARKS
“Racheli” and the accompanying logo are trademarks owned by Racheli S.r.l. and are protected among others by trademark applications and registrations. No use of these trademarks can be made without the express authorization of Racheli, which reserves its rights to any legal remedies against unauthorized use of its trademarks.


C. PRIVACY STATEMENT
This page contains the terms by which our web site is managed with regards to the treatment of personal data of the users who consult it.
This information statement is made in accordance with the Italian legal requirements provided in Art. 13 Law Decree. no. 196/2003 – Code on the Protection of Personal Data  - to all those users who interface with the information services rendered by Racheli, accessible by Internet at the URL: http://www.racheli.it
This information statement is made exclusively for this web site and not for other web sites which may be consulted by using a link contained herein.

THE HOLDER OF THE PROCESSED DATA
Pursuant to the use and consultation of this web site the holder may use and process data pertaining to identified or identifiable persons. The holder in the present case is Racheli S.r.l., having its registered place of business at Viale S. Michele del Carso 4, - 20144 Milan, Italy.

LOCATION OF THE PROCESSING
The processing of data collected from users of this web site is carried out solely by personnel of Racheli normally entrusted with this task by the Holder, or by persons from time to time requested to carry out maintenance of the web site. 
No data collected from users of this web site is communicated to third parties unless in the normal course of professional services rendered by the Holder.
The personal data obtained from users are used only for the purpose of responding to requests for information from users.

TYPE OF DATA PROCESSED
The information systems and software procedures put in place for the functioning of this web site acquire, in the course of their normal operation, certain personal data the transmission of which is implicit in the use of Internet communication protocols.

This data is not collected with the purpose of being associated to identified interests, but that could, by their own nature, by means of processing or association with data held by third parties, lead to identifying the users.
This category of data will usually include IP addresses or the domain names of computers employed by users who connect themselves to the web site, the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) addresses for the requested resources, the time of the query, the method used in submitting the query to the server, the size of the file obtained in the reply, the numerical code identifying the status of the reply given by the server (ok, error, etc.) and other parameters relating to the operating system and the IT environment of the user.
The optional, explicit and voluntary sending of e-mails to the addresses indicated on this website entails the subsequent acquisition of the address of the sender, which is necessary to reply to requests, as well as any other personal data contained in these messages.

COOKIES
No personal data of a user is acquired by the web site.
Cookies are not used to send information containing personal data.  The web site does use persistent cookies as a system to trace users.
The use of session cookies (that are not saved for a long time on the user’s computer and are deleted at the browser’s closure) is strictly limited to the transmission of session identifiers (constituted by casual numbers generated by the server) that are necessary to consent a safe and efficient necessary exploration of the web site.
The aforementioned session cookies used in this web site avoid the need to recur to other computer technology which may be detrimental to the confidentiality of the users’ navigation and do not consent the acquisition of personal identification data of the users.

MODES OF PROCESSING
The personal data is handled using automated tools for the time strictly necessary to carry out the purpose for which they have been obtained
Specific security measures are observed to avoid the loss of data, illegal on incorrect use or unauthorized access. 

RIGHTS OF INTERESTED PARTIES
Persons referred to by personal data have the right to exercise at any time the rights provided in Art. 7 Law Decree no. 196/2003 and, in particular, to obtain the confirmation of the existence or not of such data and to know its content and origin, to verify its exactness or requests their completion, correction or updating, or to request their cancellation, the transformation in anonymous form or blocking of data dealt with in violation of the law, as well as to oppose themselves in any case, for legitimate reasons, to their processing or handling.

All request must be made to Racheli S.r.l.., Viale S. Michele del Carso, 4 – 20144 Milano, Italy. ( Tel: (+39) 02 480681 - Fax: (+39) 02 48008343 - E-mail: racheli@racheli.it)